I’m sorry to announce that PackRat will no longer be updated. I should explain.
As you may have noticed, updates to PackRat — or this blog — have been relatively scarce these past months. While for a large part my work is to blame for that, it’s not that I’ve been entirely idle, and have worked on PackRat improvements.
There’s a plethora of things I started to implement or improve. Most notably, though, are a cloud synchronization service. In order implement the client side of that, I used a number of open source libraries from the Apache Software Foundation that happen to implement JSRs, that is, specifications by the Java Community Process of which the ASF has been a part.
Today, the announcement came that the ASF resigns from the JCP executive committee — news that is sad, but not entirely unsurprising if you follow relevant tech news.
The part of their rationale that concerns PackRat directly is that they concluded the JCP makes it impossible for them to guarantee that users of their open source JSR implementations are protected from IP litigation. Failing to have the legal resources the ASR can muster, I choose to believe their interpretation.
In other words, if I were to publish the current PackRat codebase, I could be sued by Oracle. Given that this is a hobby project from which I generate no income, that is not a risk I am willing to take.
I have two options now:
- Reimplement those open source parts I’m using in a manner that is not in accordance with the JSR, making them original designs, or
- cease to publish updates to PackRat.
Given that my time has been short of late and my progress on updating PackRat slow, I do not think that the first option is feasible. I therefore conclude that I must cease to publish updates to PackRat.
I’m very sad it has come to this. I feel like I’m letting you down, even though rationally, it’s Oracle’s fault. I hope you will continue to enjoy the current version. And maybe, some day, I’ll either have found time to work around this or Oracle has seen the light. They’ve already sued Google, so I kind of doubt the latter will happen.
So long, and thanks for all the fish kind reviews.